Enterprise Clients: Grab Their Attention
You know they’re out there. You can watch their stock rise and fall and read about their business decisions in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. You can study their brand management and research the kinds of service providers they choose as partners. But you can’t attract enterprise clients just by watching and waiting. And you can’t grab their attention by simply being excellent at what you do (though that helps)
Just one or two big clients—Fortune 500 companies and household names—can take your business from struggling to stable overnight. They can help you move to the next level by providing the revenue you need to start growing instead of just surviving. But in order to sign contracts with large firms, you’ll have to focus on one word: attention. You may be the very best service provider available (and you may be an innovative startup with no competition at all), but that won’t matter if you can’t make it onto the radar.
Here are few simple—and not so simple-- moves that can launch you into view. Even if these steps require an upfront investment in terms of money and effort, they’re likely to bring big returns in time.
Consider Account Based Marketing
For most startups, “marketing” means spreading a wide net, creating copy and content that reaches a general audience, and bringing in the largest possible number of small to mid-sized clients. But when you shift your efforts toward ABM, your team exclusively pursues one big fish. You’ll study this company, determine exactly what they need and where they’re headed, then customize your product, contract, marketing plan, and pitch around that single goal.
Participate in Industry Events
Like ABM, this move can take time, patience, and money. But the returns are often well worth the cost. Research industry events and trade shows that your target company may attend, and then send in your best networkers. Even better, make arrangements to speak at these events. Position yourself at the center of the conversation.
Create a Customizable RFP
Big clients often send out RFPs at a moment’s notice (or after they hear you speak at an industry event). And if you’re like most startups, you’ll scramble the team and stay up all night to create a tailored RFP from the ground up. Instead, create a document in advance. Have it polished and ready, and when the moment comes, add target-specific information and make a few key adjustments. Then submit your proposal before the competition even has a chance.
Bring Trust into the Spotlight
Keep in mind that the most effective long-term service contracts are based on relationships and
people, not just products. So before you can sell your subscription or service, you’ll have to sell your reliability, professionalism, and personal sense of commitment. Tighten every bolt in terms of your financial stability, record keeping and documentation, data management protocols, and regulatory compliance. If you can avoid it, DON’T bring your size into the conversation. Instead, keep the dialogue focused on your attention to detail and your reputation as a serious and committed team. Return every call, act on every opportunity, and shine a bright spotlight on every testimonial and positive review. If possible, partner with non-competing vendors who already have a connection with the company so you can benefit from the strong reputations of others.
For more insight on building a relationship of trust and attracting the biggest clients in the business, arrange a consultation with our team.